In the spring of 1981, Charles Rice Goff III produced what became some of the most classic and popular music in the entire Taped Rugs catalog at Wally Heider’s Hyde Street Recording Studios in San Francisco, California.
His old friend and collaborator Gordon Lyon was in the beginning stages of developing a career as a professional recording engineer. Lyon had accumulated a lot of studio time at Hyde Street in payment for his services there and generously offered to use a week’s worth to work on a project with Goff. A lot of big-selling recordings had been created at Hyde Street over the years, and some of Hyde Street’s equipment actually used to dwell in London’s Abbey Road Studios, so the potentials seemed quite grandiose for creating some recordings that could change the world. At this point in time, the Taped Rugs project called: “ –ING” was a loosely defined group that was based on its use of Frippertronics-style tape loops as compositional tools.
Before beginning the project, Goff listened to dozens of recordings of tape loop improvisations that he had made on his own, with Steve Schaer, with Robert Silverman, and with his friend Julie Dalara’s cat “Sugaree”. He edited out portions of these recordings which he thought would flow well into one another and brought them to Hyde Street to serve as the backbones for sound collages. He also brought to the studio some lyrics and some basic ideas for instrumental embellishments. During the recording sessions, he employed the talents of friends Dennis Briggs (drums) and Jenny Josephian (voices) to help execute some of the collage elements, but the vast majority he performed himself. Lyon did an exceptional job as the engineer who recorded all the many bits and pieces and glued them together into three coherent compositions. The entire project took about 40 total hours of Hyde Street studio time.
Goff pursued various record companies to release these works afterward, but because the pieces were so far outside of the mainstream, and because Goff was absolutely ignorant about the workings of the recording industry, the pieces never were pressed to vinyl. They did get passed around to some college and public radio stations however, where they were played with enthusiasm by some experimental disc jockeys. The pieces were never even released on cassette by Taped Rugs Productions until 1997, on a tape called “Eternity Is Now.” Taped Rugs later included them on an –ING retrospective CD (“-Ingtrospection”) in 2002. An out take version of “The Dance” was generously included on a compilation CD put out by Don Campau/Lonely Whistle called “Rewind And Pause” in 2006.
Probably the most significant outcome of the 1981 Hyde Street adventure was that Goff and collaborator Steve Schaer later learned how to perform live interpretations of the pieces created there, and those pieces became staples for –ING’s live act in 1983 and 1984.
Archived here are four mixes from the Hyde Street recording sessions:
1 The Dance
3 Whirring During
4 The Dance Version 2 (Rewind & Pause Version)
The photo in this archive is of Steve Schaer (left) and Charles Rice Goff III (right), taken at Goff’s family home on December 25th, 1980. Robert Silverman (face hidden) is sitting next to Schaer.